Cognitive resilience after prolonged task performance

an ERP investigation

Endre Takács, Irén Barkaszi, Anna Altbäcker, I. Czigler, László Balázs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Deleterious consequences of cognitive fatigue might be avoided if people respond with increased effort to increased demands. In this study, we hypothesized that the effects of fatigue would be more pronounced in cognitive functions reflecting compensatory effort. Given that the P3a event-related potential is sensitive to the direction and amount of attention allocated to a stimulus array, we reasoned that compensatory effort would manifest in increased P3a amplitudes. Therefore, we compared P3a before (pre-test) and after (post-test) a 2 h long cognitively demanding (fatigue group, n = 18) or undemanding task (control group, n = 18). Two auditory tasks, a three-stimulus novelty oddball and a duration discrimination two-choice response task were presented to elicit P3a. In the fatigue group, we used the multi-attribute task battery as a fatigue-inducing task. This task draws on a broad array of attentional functions and imposed considerable workload. The control group watched mood-neutral documentary films. The fatigue manipulation was effective as subjective fatigue increased significantly in the fatigue group compared to controls. Contrary to expectations, however, fatigue failed to affect P3a in the post-test phase. Similar null effects were obtained for other neurobehavioral measures (P3b and behavioral performance). Results indicate that a moderate increase in subjective fatigue does not hinder cognitive functions profoundly. The lack of objective performance loss in the present study suggests that the cognitive system can be resilient against challenges instigated by demanding task performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Brain Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Task Performance and Analysis
Fatigue
Cognition
P300 Event-Related Potentials
Control Groups
Motion Pictures
Workload

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Distraction
  • Effort
  • Event-related potentials
  • Mental fatigue
  • Oddball

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cognitive resilience after prolonged task performance : an ERP investigation. / Takács, Endre; Barkaszi, Irén; Altbäcker, Anna; Czigler, I.; Balázs, László.

In: Experimental Brain Research, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Takács, Endre ; Barkaszi, Irén ; Altbäcker, Anna ; Czigler, I. ; Balázs, László. / Cognitive resilience after prolonged task performance : an ERP investigation. In: Experimental Brain Research. 2018.
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